Fake ID cards | What are the laws and fines?

A fake ID is one that doesn’t belong to you, has been made illegally or changed (for example to make you look older). Most of the time it’s against the law to make, have or use a fake ID for anything, including to get into a pub, club or bar or to buy alcohol. It’s also against the law to lend your ID to someone else or lie so that you can get a real ID (for example lying about your date of birth or giving fake documents).

If you’re caught doing these things, you could be fined as much as $3,000!

What is a fake ID?
A fake ID is an ID that:

has been made illegally;
has been scratched or altered in any way (like to make you seem older); or
doesn’t actually belong to you (like a friend’s or brother’s ID).
What are the accepted forms of ID in Victoria?
In Victoria, you can prove your age using:

a driver licence (from anywhere in Australia); or
a passport; or
a proof of age card (from anywhere in Australia).
Is it illegal to use a fake ID?
It’s against the law to use a fake ID to try and enter a pub, club, or bar, or to purchase alcohol. If you’re under 18 and you’re caught doing this, you could be:

given a warning or caution;
fined $233.19 on the spot; or
be convicted by a court and have to pay as much as $777.30
Can the police or security confiscate a fake ID?

In these cases, the fake ID can also be confiscated by police or the staff member (e.g. a bouncer). If the item is a driver’s licence, they’re not allowed to confiscate it (but even if they confiscate a driver’s licence there will usually be nothing you can do about it).

The person who confiscates your ID must give it to the police. If the ID is fake, it will either be destroyed, or returned to the person who owns it. The police may keep it in their records about you. If it is not fake, it must be returned to you within 28 days.

Can I lend my ID to someone else?
No. It’s against the law to lend your Victorian driver’s licence to someone else if you know that they might use it for fraudulent purposes. It’s also against the law to give any kind of ID to someone if you know or suspect they will use it to try and get into licensed premises, or obtain alcohol.

If the person gets caught, the ID may be confiscated and not returned for up to 28 days.

Depending on your age, if you’re caught doing this, you could:

be given a warning or a caution;
be fined $310.90 on the spot; or
be convicted by a court and have to pay as much as $3,109.20
Is it illegal to make an fake ID?
Yes. It’s against the law to make a fake ID. This means it is illegal to forge, or even scratch or change an ID. If you’re caught and you’re under 18, you could be:

given a warning or caution by police;
fined $310.92 on the spot by the police; or
convicted by a court and have to pay as much as $3,109.20.
What if I lie to get real ID?
It’s against the law to lie to get a real ID, like a driver’s license or proof of age card.

If you’re caught and you’re under 18, you could be:

given a warning or caution by police; or
charged and fined up to $777.30 if convicted by a Court.

For many people, the concept of a fake ID includes purchasing an identification card made in a backroom somewhere. As it turns out, though, there is more than just one type of fake ID in Australia.

The false identification cards that we see in movies are ones that are created without proper authority. Some people think that they can simply make their own on their computer, and they often receive a rude awakening the first time they visit an establishment with an ID scanner.

In addition to completely falsified cards, some fake IDs are made from real licenses. Many underage drinkers are caught for altering their ID in some way to appear older. Some people simply use a real identification card that belongs to someone else. For those who attempt these deceptive measures, though, there are serious potential consequences.

While laws vary depending on where you live in Australia, bartenders or door staff will often notify police if an ID appears fake. It is then their duty to turn the card over to police so that a proper investigation can take place.

If you are caught using a fake ID, you may only be asked to leave or be given an informal citation. You may also receive a formal citation. If police officers want to press the matter, though, which is more likely if you’ve been caught before, you could face criminal charges.

These days, there is an increase in the use of ID scanners in bars and nightclubs. ID scanners quickly detect fake cards, and at this point, you are likely to be fined.

Fines vary from state to state. In Western Australia, you’ll get a $200 fine (at least) on the spot for using a fake ID. In New South Wales, this fine is around $220. In Queensland, however, the fine varies from $353 to $589.

On-the-spot penalties could be the best of a bad situation. If police officers decide to take the offender to court, fines between $2,000 and nearly $5,000 are a distinct possibility. Additionally, provisional license periods can be extended.

Use of fake IDs to perpetuate crime is increasing, especially due to the rise in technology.

While the use of false identification was previously covered by fraud or forgery, identity fraud is now recognised as its own category.

While there are various reasons that people want to use false IDs, one well-known group of are those under the legal drinking age of 18.

Although self proclaiming ‘reputable’ websites might advertise fake IDs for sale for cheap prices it is better to steer clear of them.

Despite police investigating such sites last year, many are still open-for-business, selling fake IDs for as little as $60.

The websites claim they are for ‘novelty use’ and that, by purchasing, you agree not to use them for fraudulent purposes.

While you can’t go to jail for using a false ID to buy alcohol or get into a drinking venue, you can get a rather large fine.


Under the NSW Liquor Act, minors who use false evidence of their age in order to buy alcohol face fines of up to $2,200.

This penalty applies to using false ID to gain entry or remain inside a licensed venue.

The licencee or their staff can take your ID if they think it is fake, and can pass it along to police for inspection.

Another penalty you can get if you are caught using a fake ID is an extension of your provisional licence for an extra 6 months.

If police suspect someone is using a fake ID, they have the right to require that person to state their name, address and date of birth.

They can also ask for ID which shows your date of birth which you can provide on the spot, or later at the police station within a reasonable amount of time.

But fake ID can also be used for other, more sinister purposes.

They are much more serious than using a fake ID at a bottle shop and can come with a considerable prison sentence.

Some people use fake ID (or steal the ID of a real person) to apply for credit cards or bank accounts, apply for driver licences, passports or mobile phones.

Identity fraud costs Australians billions of dollars.

They can have negative impacts on victims and the community over and above the direct financial cost.

As mentioned earlier, using false identification is no longer confined to general fraud offences, which require a person to gain a financial advantage, property or cause a financial disadvantage.

Using fake ID will not necessarily always have these consequences (although sometimes it may), so it is now dealt with under separate legislation.

New offences have been created in recent years in order to make sure that these kinds of crimes can be prosecuted regardless of any actual gain or loss.

Now, even possession of identification information such as a name or address, place of birth, drivers licence, passport number or credit card, with the intent of using it to commit an indictable offence is a crime.

It doesn’t matter whether the information belongs to a real person (whether alive or dead) or an entirely fictitious one.

The maximum penalty is seven years imprisonment.

Dealing in this kind of information with the same intention comes can be punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

A person found in possession of equipment or materials that can be used to contain identification information with the intention to commit an indictable offence can be imprisoned for three years.

Commonwealth penalties for knowingly making, providing or possession of a false travel or identity document are 10 years in prison and/or a $110,000 fine.

With a single click, the internet can direct you to a range of websites which will sell you a form of fake ID for as little as $60.

In an attempt to escape legal consequences, many of these websites will advertise that the fake ID’s are to be used for novelty purposes only and are not to be used for an illegal reason.

Detective Superintendent Colin Dyson, former Commander of NSW Police Fraud and Cybercrime Squad, said in 2013 that the penalties that can apply for using fake ID’s depend on the intention of the maker and user.


A very popular site, using facebook advertisements, is Fakies.com.au, who sell a large variety of hologram ID cards for up to $60. These cards can be in the form of NSW or Victorian student and proof of age cards showing the personal details you ask for it to include, including your date of birth.

The site’s facebook page has a large number of followers who have even left reviews as happy customers.

There are also other sources that allow people to purchase fake ID’s from the black markets on the internet. One can imagine the concerns arising from the easy access of fake ID’s to minors.

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It is an offence for a minor (who is under the age of 18 years), to gain entry into, or obtain alcohol from, a licenced premises (club or pub), using a fake ID.

Under s129 Liquor Act 2007 (NSW), this attracts a penalty of up to $2,200 fine by the court.

You can also receive an on the spot fine of $220.

More commonly, you may get away with a warning.

It is also an offence for a minor who is suspected to be under 18 in a licensed venue, to refuse or fail to provide the full name, home address and date of birth, if requested by the venue staff, including the security or bar tender in the venue (or even by police). The same penalties apply, reflected in s128 Liquor Act 2007 (NSW).

A minor in a licensed venue and/or obtaining alcohol from such a venue will also create a risk to the venue, who may be subject to large fines and loss of liquor licence.

Source: https://yla.org.au/vic/topics/courts-police-and-the-law/fake-id-cards/

Source 2: https://scantek.com/fake-ids-everything-you-need-to-know/

Source 3: https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/what-are-the-penalties-of-using-a-fake-id/

Source 4: https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/blog/the-law-on-identification-fraud/